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NFL Fantasy 2023 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Defenses for Week 6

You have lineup questions, we have lineup answers -- at least we hope so. Start 'Em, Sit 'Em is here to help fantasy managers make difficult roster decisions. And you know what is a good move? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see the reigning MVP here. Instead, we're exploring more debatable situations. And if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out the latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

Buffalo's defense is pretty banged up at the moment, but you’re still starting the unit against the Giants. On the year, the Bills are fourth in pressure rate and lead the NFL in sack rate. The Giants have taken a league-high 30 sacks through five games, including 19 over the last two weeks. Regardless of whether it’s Daniel Jones or Tyrod Taylor under center for New York, you should start Buffalo's defense.

In the four games that Bryce Young has started, the Panthers have averaged 16 points. The rookie QB has taken 12 sacks and thrown four interceptions -- that’s an average of three sacks and one interception per game. The No. 1 overall pick is progressing, but for now, you can still stream against him in fantasy. The Dolphins showed last week they can take advantage of favorable matchups, scoring 11 fantasy points against the Giants. 

Things are rough in New England right now. The Patriots have thrown six interceptions, tied for the second-most in the NFL. They have also surrendered 10 sacks. It’s been so bad, Mac Jones has ended up on the bench in consecutive games. The Pats allowed 24 defensive fantasy points to the Saints last week and 27 to the Cowboys the week prior. The Raiders' defense is not at the level of either of those two, but Vegas' unit is in play as a streaming option against New England. 

Sam Howell has taken 29 sacks in five games. That is nearly six per week. Last week in this space, I said that if you had the stomach to do it, the Bears' defense was in play against Washington -- and the Chicago D went on to score 10 fantasy points. The Falcons' defense is a better unit that should also be able to take advantage of the matchup. Even if Atlanta gives up points, the sacks and turnovers could be enough to make up for it. 

Sit 'Em

The Jets may have limited some high-powered offenses this season, but the Eagles are a different ballgame. Not only do they have a high-flying passing attack, but they also have one of the best ground games and a superb offensive line. Never play defenses -- even a talented Jets group -- against the Eagles. 

The Lions are the worst kind of team to stream defenses against. They take care of the ball, as Jared Goff has thrown just three interceptions against nine touchdowns after leading the league in TD-to-INT ratio last year. They also have a great offensive line and have allowed just seven sacks this season. They will put up points and can run the ball down your throat and control the clock. I would get away from the Bucs this week. 

Joshua Dobbs had a rough game in Week 5 against the Bengals, but he had not thrown an interception in his first four games of the season. He has also taken just nine sacks through five games -- so less than two per game. The Rams' defense is not what it used to be, and the Cardinals are not the stream-target offense we thought they would be. Find a different defense this week. 

The Browns have been a very good defense so far this season. But the 49ers have been the best team in the NFL. They faced a tough challenge in Dallas last week and won 42-10 -- a performance so dominant, San Francisco had the luxury of resting Brock Purdy in the fourth quarter. This 49ers offense is clicking on all cylinders; seemingly no defense has the personnel to handle all of San Fran’s versatile playmakers. Purdy has yet to throw an interception and the line has surrendered just eight sacks all season. Do not play defenses against the Niners. 

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